The Similars

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 03 Jan 2019

Member Reviews

3.5 stars

This went back and forth for me, but it was what got me out of another slump.  I was interested in the premise, and there were enough little twists and turns and additions to the basic premise that it helped smooth over some of the bits that I found less interesting.  

I am a little more than uncertain of what my expectations are for  the sequel, but I do know that I will be keeping an eye out for it.
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This was a good book, it is going to go over very well in the YA community. While I enjoyed it, I think it was a bit too young for me. The kids were just harder for me to relate too, as they were written very true to age. Which I appreciate.  It was a fun story, and I really liked how unique the plot was. I also thought the plot twist was clever, and well executed. Cloning has been a very interesting topic for years, as far as the rights and wrongs of it. So it was fun to read it from this aspect.
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** Thank you to Netgalley for the e-arc Granted to me for an honest review***

** I also won a physical arc through goodreads***

So at first I thought I really wasn’t going to like this..  In the very first pages Emma is contemplating suicide and that’s a tough subject for me.   She also just acts very childish in the beginning through her grief.   (I lost my best friend to suicide just like she did so I guess it effected me more when she told another person to basically die all because he was her best friends clone.  If you’re grieving a love one from suicide you don’t tell another person to commit it). Over the course of the book though Emma grew a lot.  I actually really enjoyed this.   I couldn’t put this down at all.   

I didn’t really understand the Ten I felt like that could have been left out really it was made to be a big deal but just never understood why and fell off honestly.  

Through the clones this book tackles race issues in the country and I really really enjoyed that!!   I also like the light mystery involved and all the twists and turns!!
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I thought the premise of this book was really interesting and I enjoyed the story most of the way through.  Darkwood Academy is a place for the best and the brightest and also has a reputation as forward thinking.  When it is revealed that six students were illegally cloned, the school decides to take the progressive step of allowing the clones to attend Darkwood right alongside their original counterparts.  The book has a lot going on: politics as the existence of the clones and their status is debated and divides the student body, a love story and the typical high school haves and have nots scenario.  The Similars shines in the first half as we explore all this through the eyes of Emmaline Chance-a girl who is forced into an unenviable situation.  I liked Emmaline and the mystery surrounding the clones.  Towards the end though I found it a bit hard to deal with the over the top nature of the villain and also I managed to figure out the big twist at the end well before it happened.  Still, I think this is a solid start to what looks to be part of a series or trilogy?  I'll definitely be reading the next installment because I want to see what happens to these characters.
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I found The Similars surprising in a number of ways. When it opens, Emma is so lost in her grief; you, as the reader, are immediately plunged into small, closed-off world. As the book progresses and Emma’s world expands, so, too, does your view. It’s an interesting experience that wouldn’t work if Rebecca Hanover’s writing weren’t as strong as it is. Too much more of Emma’s early apathetic tendencies would be off-putting, but Hanover has found the right balance.

The idea of putting two genetically identical people who were nurtured in different ways together is compelling. It raises the question of nature vs. nurture. Of course, identical twins share the same genetic code, but in almost all cases, they are raised together and have similar traits — my own sisters-in-law even created their own language. I love books that make me think beyond the story, and this aspect of The Similars did just that.

Of course, there’s more to The Similars than just the Similars. The mystery of how they came to be and how more than one person is subtly — or not so subtly — pulling the strings in the background makes for an intense storyline that ends primed for a sequel.
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I was super pumped heading into this novel, wind fully in my sails, excited for my first YA novel of 2019. A sci-fi thriller about cloning, identity and elite private school drama? My name might as well have been written in high lighter across the cover with neon arrows pointing me towards the first page. 

The first chapter really did hook me. I appreciated the surliness of Emmaline, our heroine with a chip on her shoulder. Her best friend Oliver recently committed suicide, which is hard enough to handle on its own without the added pressure of the newest Darkwood Boarding School arrivals. The clones, or Similars, are exact replicas of six of Darkwood’s most erudite and popular students. One of them is an exact replica of Oliver, Emmaline’s dead best friend. 

Super-science and cloning novels are usually rife with moral dilemmas and ethical quandaries. The main reason to write about cloning and AI is to have a discussion about what humanity actually is, the continuing evolution of our definition of life. Anything that might have been related to depth was tampered down with twisty plot, annoyingly obvious side stepping and the characters’ sophomoric antics. The only part that resembled a thoughtful nuance was when the students argue in class about clones rights. Clones are people too, etc. 

So after a bunch of really benign twists and turns that take up half the book, we come to the actual meat of the novel. A mad scientist on an island clones superhumans from the memory of former students he went to school with at Darkwood. It’s like a diluted and dumbed down version of The Isle of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells. The end. 

Questions for anyone who makes it through the novel without skimming the last few chapters like I had to: 

What is the point of the Ten? The Ten is an honor society composed of the top ten in Darkwood’s academic stratum. They meet at midnight (why?) to pull pranks on each other and discuss their right to bully other students. There’s also a long storied history of the Ten which includes (gasp) all of the current Ten’s parents! Wow this conspiracy goes way back. 

Why introduce futuristic technology if only to replicate things we already have--like classic DNA testing? 

Why have a truth-telling serum just so Emma can never use it to solve major plot points?

I gave this two stars. One because I finished it (hooray!) and the second because of the one scene of interesting dialogue about human/clone rights. If you’re still dying to read this before it becomes a summer blockbuster, borrow it from your local library. 

Thanks to NetGalley for the pre-publication copy in exchange for an honest review.
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The concept of this book is what really made me want to read it. Going to the same school as your CLONE? WHOA. And the book did not disappoint. I am excited that I got the chance to read it before it got put on the shelves, and now it is featured at Barnes and Nobles and other bookstores. Rebecca's debut novel is highly appealing to fans of YA and sci-fi, and I really like the mystery behind all of the drama. I hope she writes another book soon!
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The Similars by Rebecca Hanover is a thrilling sci-fi book set in a futuristic Earth, not too far in the future, though. The book focuses on life at a prestigious private school that had decided to allow a few clones to join their ranks. These clones happen to be the clones of students who attend this school so that should make for a very interesting story.

Our main character is Emma Chance. She is in the process of grieving her best friends death when school starts back up. She knows the clones, The Similars, will be coming to Darkwood Academy this year but she has no idea the bomb, in the form of her dead best friends clone, is going to be dropped on her. Ollie has a clone?! She instantly hates him for even existing.

The clones in this book are copies of kids who go to the prestigious Darkwood Academy and no one knows exactly why or how it happened that way. This ends up playing a big role in the plot and, if you are like me, you won't see it coming.

I truly was not expecting the ending that we got. I knew something big was going to go down but I didn't even remotely guess at what was really about to happen. I was shocked but excited at the same time because that meant there had to be another book to explain WTH just happened.

There was a sense of deja vu for me while I was reading the book. I just kept feeling like I have read this or seen this movie before. I have no idea what caused that but I know in my heart that if I really had read a book or seen a movie like this I would definitely remember. It could have been that there were A TON of elements to this story, from the private school to the advanced technology, that appears in a bunch of other books but after much thinking I still have nothing to compare this book too.

In the end, I am so glad I was given the chance to read this book early but it's bittersweet because now I have to wait even longer TO GET MY HANDS ON THE NEXT BOOK! I wonder if the next book will be called The Originals -tehehe-

Overall, I gave the book 4/5 stars.
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This book had me hooked from the synopsis!!
However, it fell a little flat to me as I just found the characters unlikable.

Thank you to NetGalley for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I'm not really a fan of the "sinister secret society at a boarding school" trope so this one started on kind of rocking footing. And I can't say as it got much better. The clone element was okay. Clearly the status of the Similars is meant to parallel the debate over immigration. Much of the plot is either entirely predictable or unbelievable. There isn't enough evidence for the plot twists. They are random events to make the plot more exciting. Vaguely exciting but not well supported.
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I thought Rebecca Hanover's The Similars raised an interesting question -- what makes you YOU? When multiple people are clones of one another with the same DNA, Students attend school with the people they were cloned off of. This is a timely and relevant issue. I believe this book would spark some interesting discussion; it would be worth including in a mixed novel unit with Brave New World, 1984, Handmaid's Tale, etc. The book was also slightly reminiscent of Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go. That said, I did find The Similars much more engaging.
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Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book! I guessed the twist at the end, but I still enjoyed reading it! I cannot wait until the sequels come out!
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Ms. Hanover's debut novel about clones is, simply put, fantastic. The Similars is everything I love about reading. The story is engaging; I could not stop reading it everything I predicted ending up not coming true. The characters may be archetypes, but I still felt a full range of emotions over Emma's struggles. I loved the friction caused by the clones, and I appreciate that the students did not wholeheartedly accept them. It is an element of the story that feels accurate, especially given the ethics surrounding cloning that scientists continue to debate. Nothing about the story felt contrived or as if it was checking the boxes. The Similars is fresh and exciting with an ending that will blow your mind. I can't wait for the sequel!
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Clones arrive at a private high school. These are not just any clones, but rather they are clones of current students. 

"The Similars" is a story about the prejudices that occur every day in our society, instead of race the author uses clones to give it a fresh twist. 

This is a fast-paced, high interest novel for young adults.
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I cannot wait to get this book for my library. The plot is so engaging and can lead to debate and research of topics like human rights and cloning. My students are going to love this story!
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Thanks to NetGalley for providing an advance copy of the book in exchange for an honest review!
This was a solidly enjoyable YA thriller. It has all the sci-fi YA components: mysterious boarding school, popular kids that have vendettas against the kids that are different (in this case, it's clones), and a self-imposed forbidden romance between protagonist Emma and one of the clones. It was a fun read even despite the fact that I could guess most of what would come before it did. I liked Emma even though I felt like her voice wasn't the strongest in certain parts of the novel. I think teens will love this first outing into the Darkwood world and wait to barrel down the next one that comes.
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Six clones arrive on the campus of Darkwood Academy. Each has a secret but only one has the power to drive Emmaline (Emma)Chance batty—Levi. Why? He looks exactly like Emma’s dead best friend Oliver and, surprise surprise, she’s not only unprepared but very unhappy about it.

As you can imagine, after what amounts to a fiery introduction, the relationship between Levi and Emma has nowhere to go but up; however the story is just as much about the history of Darkwood and the origin of the Clones. 

There is a lot to be uncovered and much of it stems from Emma’s desire to trace Levi’s origins; in doing so she starts to wonder how much she doesn’t know about Darkwood’s past; tons of mystery envelops what becomes an interesting love story between two unlikely characters.

Between the six clones, their “originals” (all of whom attend Darkwood), the parents, and the administration itself, there were a lot of characters; while that sometimes led to confusion, it didn’t effect the overall quality of the story. If anything, the attention to detail—particularly the science of it all—coupled with the characters having such well-formed backstories/purpose, added value to the story. 

I’m not sure if I’m invested in a second book—as a rule I don’t like reading a series unless it’s already complete because I hate waiting for Book insert whatever number here to release; plus the ending chosen for this easily worked as a stand-alone. 

Even so, with so many characters to choose from, I would certainly understand the interest in seeing where this story could lead.

I received an Advanced eGalley of this book from NetGalley
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When I first heard about this book, I was super intrigued by the premise. Clones going to a boarding school? Yes please. And while I still think that the entire idea behind the book is very interesting, the execution wasn’t up to par. There was so much that could have been done with the premise that just wasn’t. The story itself just fell flat for me. I really liked the book until the part where the plot actually started to “pick up”, or where it was supposed to at least. I thought it was interesting, and the similars themselves were still so foreign and new that I was just so eager to learn more about them. But as the story progressed, we never really learned enough about each of the similars themselves, and pretty much all of the characters remained one dimensional. And as for the plot, so much could have been done but wasn’t. The plot twists at the end were very predictable, and much of the plot up until that point just didn’t feel very important to me. The technology that was involved in the book was absolutely fascinating, but we just didn’t know enough about it. I am still so intrigued by the technology, the clones, and even the dynamic at Darkwood, and I wish that we could have seen more of it. Emma and Levi’s relationship was also practically nonexistent and then forced all at once, but it could have been so interesting if it had been thoroughly developed. I gave this book a 3/5 stars because it’s not a bad book by any means with many interesting features, it just wasn’t as good as I think it could have been.
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As an educator, I would recommend this to high middle and high schoolers in search of a good science fiction novel. It is about loss, love, and clones. There are a lot of issues tackled in this novel, but they are incredibly worth reading about in this novel. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Source Fire Books for the opportunity to read this novel before release.
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Rebecca Hanover has done the impossible – she’s given me a new appreciation for YA science fiction novels. In all my years of reading, I’ve never quite come across something as wonderful and original as The Similars. It had everything I ever wanted – romance, action, mystery. I was on edge the entire book – I wanted more. Now I have to wait another year for a sequel.

I’ve never come across a story such as this one before – maybe that’s my lack of science fiction coming into play – but this story felt so original, so interesting. I was intrigued from the moment I started reading the book. Hanover had me hooked. I was the rabbit and she was dangling a carrot in front of me for the entire thing. But I was happy. The Similars is so fantastically written that I wasn’t bored at all throughout the entire book.

I absolutely adore Emmaline as a main character, and the way she developed through the plot was really interesting to watch. She made a brilliant protagonist, and can only hope that her development will continue into the next instalment of the series. There were a few plot twists throw in towards the end, which I appreciated, and Emmaline handled them incredibly well. She’s strong and fiesty – brave and loyal to her friends.

Though the book is described as a science fiction, I would have probably dubbed it as a thriller or a mystery myself. The book has a few dark moments, and the tone and pace of the story keep you guessing. I wanted it to continue on long after I’d finished reading.

I will be giving Rebecca Hanover my highest score, five out of five. I haven’t read a book this brilliant in a while, and to day that this is her debut novel is absolutely amazing! I expect big things from Rebecca in the future. Until the next book in the series come out, I’ll have to reread this one.
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